Friday, April 19, 2019
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“Wipe out my tears”, cries Austin Odhiambo a blind orphan teenager

Austin Odhiambo displays some of his medical documents. Photo by Lucy Wangai.

A 17 year old blind orphan is in desperate need of specialized treatment several months after he fell and badly injured his anal opening.
Austin Odhiambo said he slid and fell on a sharp object that pierced through his anal opening and he has been trying to get specialized treatment for close to 2 years now.

The teen who has dealt with major catastrophes for many years is currently nursing a septic wound in his private parts and attempts to get medical attention has been futile as he cannot afford to meet most of the demands from medics.

He has consequently dropped out of school as the wound has become unmanageable and has no one to attend to him save for well-wishers at Gachagi slum, an extension of the sprawling Kiandutu slums in the outskirts of Thika town.

Attempts to have him admitted at the Thika Level 5 hit a snag after medics demanded that he has to get a helper to be admitted alongside him as he cannot take care of himself and the nurses cannot guarantee him personalized care.

Indeed, the adage that catastrophe never comes single handedly, applies to Odhiambo’s case, as he has encountered pain and suffering that can make any strong adult flinch.

Thika Level 5 Medical Superintendent Dr. Patrick Nyaga told KNA that for the patient to be admitted at the facility, he has to get an assistant who will be attending to him due to shortage of nursing staff.

However, he said that as any other patient the hospital will attend to him and give him all the required medical services.

Documents seen by KNA indicate that he requires a specialized scan called cystoscopy to verify the extent of damage in his anal opening and the scan can only be done in a private Laboratory within the Medanta group of Labs.

Currently he cannot go for a long call as the opening is extensively damaged and is oozing both blood and pus.

Good Samaritans that brought him to town narrated how Odhiambo who currently lives with an old blind couple in Gachagi has contemplated committing suicide several times as the pain was getting impossible to bear and he has reached a point of no return.

“He cries in pain every day and he is unable to feed or sleep yet he has no one to take care of him as he is an orphan. Currently, he lives with a very old blind couple,” narrated Purity Wangari one of the neighbours who brought Odhiambo to Thika town and later to Thika Level
5 Hospital.

Odhiambo narrated how he underwent a surgery at the Eldoret referral Hospital early 2018 immediately after he did his KCPE examination in an attempt to correct the same problem but the injury recurred late last year and has been worsening.

The story of Odhiambo reads like a horror movie, when you think you have seen it all, you encounter another phase of his life that makes you
more sorrowful.

Odhiambo was born in Busia County 17 years ago but lost both parents before he was 5 years old. He was taken in by one of his stepbrothers who subsequently adopted him and enrolled him in school.

However, he lost his eyesight under very mysterious circumstances after the wife to his stepbrother washed his eyes with a liquid feared to have been laced with an acid.

He says he does not know what happened to the relative who put him into permanent darkness. All I know is that I was taken to my maternal grandmother where I lived and attended school from. I even sat my KCPE there but unfortunately before I could join Secondary school my grandmother died.

The orphan narrated how a well-wisher invited him to Kiandutu slums to pursue the dreams of joining Thika school for the blind not knowing that life would present to him a very unique challenge.

The form two student at Thika School for the blind narrated how he was sexually molested and infected with a sexually transmitted disease by a woman who is currently serving a 15 year jail term when he was living in Kiandutu slums.

He is now appealing for well wishers to come to his rescue and assist him get into a hospital where he can get specialized treatment.

Meanwhile, KNA has gathered that Odhiambo has no relatives within Thika town and was living with good Samaritans. He neither has relatives in Busia where he was born as the only surviving uncle who allegedly sold property left behind by his parents, disowned him before his late grand mother took him in.
Well wishers can contact the ailing teen through a Good Samaritan, Wangari, who is taking care of him currently. Her Cell phone No. is 070 28 22 964
By Lucy Wangai

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